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As a UX design professional, you know that the user interface design is a very important aspect in the design thinking process.

In this article, Jakob Nielsen's 10 Usability Heuristics for User Interface Designwe will discuss more the importance in creating designs that are easy to use and efficient, as this allows novice users to get the most out of your product or service.

So how do you make sure your design meets these goals? The answer can be found in the following sub topics below. Let’s take a look at what each usability heuristics entails.

Jakob Nielsen's 10 heuristic evaluation

Visibility of system status

Visibility of system status is about keeping the freedom users informed about what is going on, through appropriate feedback within a reasonable time.

For example, when it comes to checking your phone. Once the screen appears, it will tell you about the battery, wifi connection, received messages, missed calls, and more.

Imagine how you would feel without this information. Using symbols, signs, and indicators, the system communicates its status and helps users make better decisions.

When people interact with a system, the system should provide immediate and appropriate feedback feedback on the interaction. Each of us has been burned by bad experiences in the past, which made us doubt and suspect at first. Simple visual cues such as button color changes, wheel spins, or icon displays can help users informed or understand what's going on and prevent them from continuing with pointless interactions.

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Match between system and the real world

The match between system should speak the users language, with words, phrases, and concepts familiar to the novice user, rather than system-oriented terms. Follow real-world conventions, making information appear in a natural and logical order or follow real world conventions.

How you design depends a lot on your target users: Processes, concepts familiar, symbols, and images that seem clear enough to you and your colleagues may not be confusing to your users, or vice versa. When design appears in a natural and logical order and matches desired results rather than system oriented terms, it's easier for users to learn and remember how the interface works. face This helps create an intuitive experience.

User control and freedom

The importance of user control and freedom should not be underrated. Users often choose system functions by mistake and will need a clearly marked "emergency exit" to leave the unwanted state without going through an extended dialogue. Support undo and redo actions wherever possible in system functions.

People tend to interact with the system too quickly and do not focus on the details. This leads to things like bad typing or other issues that can be frustrating. Imagine situations like accidentally deleting an important file or posting a grammatical error on your company's social media. Every system should have a well-labeled “escape route” system that provides user control and freedom users with an easy way to exit and enter an unwanted situation.

Consistency and standards users

Users should not have to wonder whether different words, situations, or actions mean the same thing. Follow platform conventions whenever possible; otherwise, define any new conventions you introduce consistently throughout your product/service UI design.

Good starting points for a consistency and standards users design process for your mobile app are Apple's Human Interface Guidelines and Google's Material Design Guidelines. They are not not specific usability guidelines but they have a strong background in explaining important things on consistency and standards users with many examples. When designing your new app, don't forget that present users spend 90% of their time choose system functions or interacting with other apps. Therefore, using the best methods and most popular methods will make it better overall.

Error prevention

Even better than good error messages is a careful design that prevents a problem from occurring in the first place (error prevention) by prompting present users for input like dates or values with clear explanations of expected formats (e.g., mm/dd/yyyy).

Oftentimes than not slips occur when users are busy with a lot of things. However, due to a lack of attention to do something else, the chance of getting into slips (error messages) may be reduced by guiding the users into safe areas (good error messages).

The rule of the thumb it to eliminate error prone conditions to help users recognize diagnose. Use constraints that do not allow the user to set an invalid value (e.g. when expecting numbers, do not allow letters). Another example of eliminate error prone conditions is to suggest common options to make it easier for the user to choose or use the confirmation dialog (recognize diagnose and recover).

Recognition rather than recall

recognition rather than recall is about minimizing the user's memory load by making objects, actions, and options visible on the screen so they can be recognized rather than remembered (users recognize vs users remember). Provide context-sensitive help & documentation when needed for more complex user's task beyond recognition level knowledge requirements.

Flexibility and efficiency of use

Allow experienced users to tailor frequent actions by creating shortcuts so that users can tailor their interactions as needed. Accommodate experienced users’ high-performance levels by allowing them to tailor everyday actions in ways that are faster & easier for them.

An organized screen makes it easier to navigate through apps. Apps should always display only the apps and UI controls that are important. A perfect example of this is apps like Apple Page or the G-Drive app. When you're typing, you only see a few controls related to word processing. But when you decide to add another chart, new features specially designed to help you accomplish this user's task will appear.

Aesthetic and minimalist design

Dialogues should not contain information that is irrelevant or rarely needed; Every extra unit of information in a dialogue competes with relevant units of information & diminishes their relative visibility.

Help users recognize, diagnose and recover from errors

Errors error messages should be expressed in plain users language (no codes), precisely indicate the problem & constructively suggest a solution.

Any error message should be as clear and precise as much as possible. No one wants to read vague messages like "something went wrong". Say what happened in human-readable language.

Messages like "Error code 372" are also not recommended. Give employees constructive advice on what to do next. Offer a solution or direct the user to a customer support person who can handle the situation. The last rule of good errors error messages is respect. Don't blame the employee or say they are stupid.

Help and documentation

Even though it is better if the system can be used without documentation, it may be necessary to provide help & documentation; Any such information should be easy to search, focused on specific tasks, list concrete steps & not be too large.


Quality interface design is key if you want your product or service to stand out from its competitors – but achieving this requires more than just creative thinking and coding skills alone.

Jakob Nielsen’s 10 Usability Heuristics Evaluation offers professionals a holistic approach towards creating effective user interfaces that make customers happy while also helping businesses increase customer loyalty and generate more sales, which ultimately translates into higher profits.

These heuristic evaluation guidelines are general rules and will apply to all web and mobile applications, with some exceptions. Always use your best judgment to implement these or other UX heuristic evaluation practices by putting yourself in the end user's shoes.

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Mary Ann Dalangin

About the author

A content marketing strategist and a UX writer with years of experience in the digital marketing industry.

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